What locking mechanism of pocket knives is the best? Why?

David Mary

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I have no problems using a liner lock, or a compression lock left handed. I also don't feel like I am having to "fiddle around" when I do so. Of course YMMV, but it would be a shame to deny oneself the compression lock just because right handers can close them a second or so faster.

 

Kizer Cutlery

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That's really a detent issue. A good detent keeps the knife closed under normal carry conditions and lets you build up enough pressure to reliably snap it open. Decent detents aren't hard to find. Weak detents on otherwise good knives make me sad. Unfortunately, weak detents are more common than I'd like.

Luckily, at least one manufacturer is here taking notes. :)
Notes have already taken!:cool: Haha, Thank you guys!
 
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I would say Axis lock.

1. It's ambidextrous
2. No fingers in blade path
3. Easiest to clean lock interface (Washers to if you don't remove springs)
4. Lock wears more graciously and
5. Lock bar replacement is easiest of all
6. Fidget factor is very high

The newer design in the anthem is even better with no omega springs but I am sure it's protected by a patent so not very useful to you at the moment.
 

Kizer Cutlery

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I would say Axis lock.

1. It's ambidextrous
2. No fingers in blade path
3. Easiest to clean lock interface (Washers to if you don't remove springs)
4. Lock wears more graciously and
5. Lock bar replacement is easiest of all
6. Fidget factor is very high

The newer design in the anthem is even better with no omega springs but I am sure it's protected by a patent so not very useful to you at the moment.
Yeah, it is protected, but we still happy that you shared your thoughts and have fun here. Thank you.;)
 

353

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I would say Axis lock.

1. It's ambidextrous
2. No fingers in blade path
3. Easiest to clean lock interface (Washers to if you don't remove springs)
4. Lock wears more graciously and
5. Lock bar replacement is easiest of all
6. Fidget factor is very high

The newer design in the anthem is even better with no omega springs but I am sure it's protected by a patent so not very useful to you at the moment.

I also like the Axis lock , but I'd like to add why it's not a favourite:

1. If you ever have to take this design apart for thorough cleaning they are a bitch to reasemble, its doable but just one of the worst in that regard.
2. The omega springs are a weak part in this design, however this can be remedied by installing memory wire. Link to thread: https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/benchmade-omega-springs.1649795/#post-18871030
 

Kizer Cutlery

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Best is probably a "subjective" word. If you have seen the cold steel video where they tried to advertise their Tri-ad lock, in some way, one could argue frame lock may or may not be as "reliable" as we think it would be(whether the test is legit or reasonable, totally YMMV). However, in everyday use, it's a decent lock if done properly.

In terms of convenience, my vote goes to compression and axis lock too.

Btw, besides hearing from our members, I'd be interested to hear what Kizer consider to be a 'best' lock as well.
Well, as you can see, our locks mostly are liner and frame locks. Liner and frame lock both have good and bad side, not so prefect but still safe and fun enough and cost less. A compeny should consider the costes so less cost might have a big weight of defining the 'Best' for a knife maker, that was the answer i guest. However, Kizer not only wanna be a knife maker but also wanna be a friend and family to accompany and feedback those who follow and support us. So, as a friend and family of you guys, our definition of 'Best' is your joy and safety. Then here we are, created a discussion thread of locking mechanism and taking notes about what you guys think is the best for you and improving ourselves.;) Hope you like the answer which came from our heart. And hope we have the chance to accompany you and bring you joy.:)
 

myu

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Feb 9, 2010
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When I got my first Arc-Axis lock (SOG) I thought it was so superior to any other lock type. It just seemed to be so robust. No flexing of semi-cut frame or liner. The one on my SOG Vulcan is terrific. But then I bought a Spyderco, with a titanium liner lock (seamlessly shaped with the frame, so that at first you'd think it is a frame lock). So brilliantly done. The lock centers so well on the blade, there's absolutely no chance for slippage. Clicks satisfyingly into place. It's less complicated than the Arc-Axis lock, which is something to appreciate from a maintenance perspective. The Arc-Axis has that omega spring that will eventually need attention.
Bottom line: each lock has it's own deployment/retraction nuances, pros & cons. Find what appeals to you the most, then do the research to find which brands/models do it best. You cannot go wrong with that approach.
 

comis

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May 17, 2013
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Well, as you can see, our locks mostly are liner and frame locks. Liner and frame lock both have good and bad side, not so prefect but still safe and fun enough and cost less. A compeny should consider the costes so less cost might have a big weight of defining the 'Best' for a knife maker, that was the answer i guest. However, Kizer not only wanna be a knife maker but also wanna be a friend and family to accompany and feedback those who follow and support us. So, as a friend and family of you guys, our definition of 'Best' is your joy and safety. Then here we are, created a discussion thread of locking mechanism and taking notes about what you guys think is the best for you and improving ourselves.;) Hope you like the answer which came from our heart. And hope we have the chance to accompany you and bring you joy.:)

Appreciate your honesty and spending time with the community, I for one can always appreciate a company that listens and constantly striving to bring the best value/QC/tolerance to us as customers.
 

comis

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I wish Kizer should come out with at least one knife in original axis style lock now that the patent is no longer applicable. Keep the knife thin behind the edge (0.010") and use VG-10/N690/14C28N with micarta / CF scales

On top of that, that's probably a few ways to achieve the axis lock, it will be cool to see another Titanium integral with spine spring for the axis lock(similar to the Benchmade Anthem) with a much lower price point. Personally, I prefer the spine spring instead of the omega spring for the axis lock.
 
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Apr 30, 2019
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triad lock back
and cold steel ti lite liner lock I like a lot I have I am surprised it never failed I have pushed my old one to the limit and it hasn't got me ever but you don't feel like it will disengage like other frame or liner locks thay worried me a bit but not cold steel one I think it's the way it's like an L on the tang but don't see meany others do the same
 
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If by “best” you mean the lock that functions the best in doing what a lock is supposed to do in keeping the blade from folding closed when engaged, then the triad lock is the best. My favorites are the triad, Spydercos compression lock, axis lock and the button lock. The triad for strength, the rest for a good blend of strength, convenience and fun factor. Generally don’t like liner licks except the ones on the Spyderco military and cold steel ti lite.
 
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To me hands down Axis lock and it’s not even close. Its the only reason I have more Benchmades than anything else.
Second would be Spyderco’s compression lock. I haven’t handled any of their knives with the bearing lock like the Manix but if they work as advertised I imagine I would like them too.
I’m just really fond of being able to open and close with one hand.
As long as you are buying a decent brand I think they are all equally safe when it comes to not failing.
 
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Button lock or compression lock.

The Spyderco Smock is the best of both worlds and that's probably why I like it so much. I mean, it's not winning a beauty contest anytime soon.
 
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I like them all, but I'm kinda "meh" on back locks tho. My all time favorite is something fun and a little unusual. The G&G Hawk toggle lock as on the Kershaw E.T. :D
 
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If fingers are in the blades path with a compression lock then the compression lock is useless thus righty compression locks are worthless to a lefty.
 

David Mary

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If fingers are in the blades path with a compression lock then the compression lock is useless thus righty compression locks are worthless to a lefty.

I'm a lefty who closes compression locks left (and right!) handed. My index finger in the opening hole prevents the blade from closing on my fingers. Therefore my right handed compression lock knife, even when I use it left handed (I use my left hand for some cutting tasks and right hand for others) is quite useful. If lefties should be anything, it is adaptable.
 
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